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Barb Ericson Director, Computing Outreach College of Computing Georgia Tech How to Recruit More Students and More Diverse Students for your Computing Class?

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Presentation on theme: "Barb Ericson Director, Computing Outreach College of Computing Georgia Tech How to Recruit More Students and More Diverse Students for your Computing Class?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Barb Ericson Director, Computing Outreach College of Computing Georgia Tech How to Recruit More Students and More Diverse Students for your Computing Class?

2 Today's story The percentage of females and Blacks taking the AP CS A exam in Georgia is way too low Below historical highs in Georgia Below what we see in other AP exams in Georgia There are way too few students who take AP CS A compared to other similar AP exams Hundreds versus thousands in Georgia There are not enough females and under-represented minorities in computing at Georgia Tech What can you do to effectively recruit more students and more diverse students to computing? You can make a difference!

3 2010 AP CS A in Georgia - Gender The percentage of females taking AP CS A in Georgia was 17% (118 out of 692) The high was 27% in 1999 (155 of 571) The low was 14% in 2005 (56 of 388) 19.21% nationally (3,726 of 19,390)

4 2010 AP CS A in Georgia - Race The percentage of blacks was 9.8% (68 of 692) The high was 28.5% in 1999 (163 of 571) The low was 9.4% in 2007 (40 of 422) 4.25% nationally (825 of 19,390)

5 Compared to other Georgia AP exams? 2010 Calculus AB – total 7,256 % female 49.9% (3,621) % black 16.35% (1187) 2010 Biology – total 5,358 % female 56.8% (3,045) % black 17.59% (943) 2010 Chemistry – total 3,683 % female 48.4% (1,785) % black 14.79% (545) 2010 Statistics – total 5,115 % female 52.7% (2,696) % black 17% (873)

6 Georgia Tech – Spring 2011 by Gender Ranges from 9.27% to 22.73% Freshman (95 male and 23 female) 19.49% female Sophomore (169 male and 34 female) 16.74% female Junior (225 and 23) 9.27% female Senior (300 and 43) 12.53% female Masters (282 and 83) 22.73% female PhD (252 and 57) 18.44% female Back in the mid 80's women were about 35% of CS majors

7 Georgia Tech – Spring 2011 by Race Undergrad in the College of Computing Total Asian – 214 – 23.46% Black – 61 – 6.68% Hispanic – 48 – 5.26% White – 559 – 61.29% Graduate Total – 681 Asian – 391 – 57.41% Black – 25 – 3.67% Hispanic – 14 – 2.05% White – 232 – 34.06%

8 Interest in Computing Careers According to a WGBH foundation study of over 1400 college- bound teens in % of college bound males consider a career in computing to be a "very good" or "good" choice for them. 32% of college bound females consider a career in computing to be a "very good" or "good" choice for them. Black and Hispanic teen boys were even more interested in a career in computing than their white peers. So, why aren't there more Black and Hispanic males in computing? Lack of access and exposure? Many are going to low-level schools such as DeVry and Un. Of Phoenix

9 What do middle school girls want to be? Vet / work with animals (> 400) 25% Doctor (> 400) 19% Don't know (> 400) 19% Engineer (> 200) 10% Performance Artist (> 200) Teacher - 9% Lawyer – judge - 9% Forensics-related Scientist … Computer-related was near the bottom of the list (41)

10 What do high school girls want to be? Health and allied services - 34% Social science and history – 13% Business and commerce – 12% Education – 11% Arts – Visual and performing – 9% Biological Sciences – 7% Communications – 5% … Computer or Information Sciences was near bottom.

11 How to recruit students to computing? Send letters to parents of high school students who do well on the PSAT See for sample letters Hand deliver letters to females and under-represented minorities Include a talking points card from NCWIT for females See Recruit student leaders and have them recruit their friends Females often prefer to take a class with a friend

12 Other recruiting ideas Send out your current computing students to recruit for next year Give a talk in other AP classes (especially math and science) Give a talk in web design classes (high percentage of women) Create a short video that can be played on the school news Have an open house at your school for parents Display job ads Show student work Hand out information on computing careers

13 What appealed to current majors? Both men and women Positive experiences in computing Encouragement Confidence in math and science Enjoy programming Belief that career could be rewarding and flexible More important for women Computing as a form of communication Leads to helping others Means of self-expression Persuaded by friends Defy stereotypes Encouragement from family

14 What does research tell us? 80% of college freshman don't know what a person with a major in computer science does Many hold negative stereotypes about computing Boring, anti-social, not creative, too hard White and Hispanic women's confidence is based on others They need encouragement and praise Women who leave Computer Science often have higher grades then men who stay in the major Males are often taught to be self-reliant Not willing to ask questions or show that they are having trouble

15 What is important to mention? Economic Security Flexibility both in types of industries and geographic Jobs in computing and math are expected to be some of the fastest growing through 2016 First or second highest starting salary of any 4 year degrees Job Satisfaction Socially relevant Challenging and problem solving Work with others Time for personal life In Georgia AP CS A counts as a science for graduation And as a science or math for entry into Georgia colleges and universities

16 What does Georgia Tech do? Weekend events with Girl Scouts and Cool Girls Summer camps for 4 th – 12 th graders at Georgia Tech And we trained and gave "seed" money to 11 other colleges and universities in Georgia Weekend events for elementary students Competitions Alice Scratch AP Bowl Cool Computing Days Student panel Research talks Corporate panel Lending library Teacher workshops

17 Pictures from Georgia Tech

18 Media Computation for high school students

19 Awards for females NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awards National Award $500 in cash a laptop computer, provided by Bank of America a trip to attend the Bank of America Technology Showcase and Awards Ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina an engraved award for both the student and the student's school Georgia Aspirations in Computing Awards – 15 in ceremony ceremony

20 Videos You can use videos from the Un of Washington Pathways in computer science Power to change the world A day in the life – 3 women in computing Dot diva videos – for females on combining computing and other fields NCWIT – Aspirations in Computing Award Winners

21 Use Engaging Contexts Scratch – 2D animations, simulations, presentations, games Alice – 3D animations and games Media Computation – communication, creative, expressive Culturally relevant Mobile Devices – computing for good, social networks Apps for homeless Apps to report sexual harassment Apps to handle logistics in earthquakes

22 Make computing social Have students share their results In class On a website In student newspaper Use pair programming Research has shown this to be effective Encourage group work Counter the myth that programmers work alone Use peer and near-peer mentors High school students helping middle school students College students helping high school students

23 Books to read for more info Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing

24 New CS Principles Course This is a new Advanced Placement course designed to be an introduction to the important ideas in computer science and to appeal to more women and minorities See Piloted by 5 colleges NSF wants 10,000 teachers teaching this course by 2015 NSF wants a higher percentage of women and minorities They are currently recruiting for the second pilot courses

25 Summary There are too few women and under-represented minorities in computing Doing "nothing" only perpetuates the problem And can lead to your classes being cancelled Continues the economic injustice You need to act to give more females and under-represented minorities an introduction to computing Recruit for your classes Be sure to use appropriate messages when recruiting Be sure to use engaging and inclusive content in your classes Hold summer camps Create an afterschool club Encourage students to enter competitions and apply for awards

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